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US airline group sees record summer travel, despite 737 MAX grounding

A group representing major U.S. carriers said it expects 257.4 million passengers to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and August 31.

boeing 737 max, U.S. Transportation Department, American Airlines, passengers, MAX groundings, Southwest Airlines Co, United Airlines, Federal Aviation Administration, aviation regulators, texas, San Diego, Sacramento, crashes, Airlines for America, Hawaii, world news, Indian Express An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is seen on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (REUTERS)

U.S. summer air travel will hit a new record this year despite the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft after two fatal crashes, a group representing major airlines said on Tuesday.

Airlines for America, the trade group representing major U.S. carriers, said it expects 257.4 million passengers to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and August 31, up 3.4 per cent from last summer’s record 248.8 million passengers.

Airlines are adding 111,000 seats daily to accommodate the extra 93,000 passengers expected per day, the group said, in what it forecast will be the 10th consecutive summer of increases in the number of U.S. airline passengers.

Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc have cancelled flights because of the grounding of the 737 MAX into August, while United Airlines has cancelled flights into early July.

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Southwest has cancelled 160 daily flights through August 5. It launched service to Hawaii earlier this year but has had to defer flying there from San Diego and Sacramento because of the MAX groundings.

American Airlines has cancelled nearly 115 flights daily until August 19, accounting for 2 per cent of its summer flight capacity.

The U.S. Transportation Department said that July 2018 was the all-time busiest air travel month, with 75.8 million passengers.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is meeting with aviation regulators from around the world in Texas on Thursday to update them on the various reviews of the 737 MAX. Boeing has not yet formally submitted its software upgrade and training revisions to the FAA for approval or completed a certification flight.

First published on: 21-05-2019 at 10:43 IST
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